We all know that glass gather both dust and fingerprints. As for fingerprints the ideal thing would be handling them with soft cotton gloves (something I never do), as for dust, there’s a whole range of cloths made of special fabrics designed for cleaning glass which leave no fuzz behind, and I always keep several of them at home…
When I do a normal washing of my glass items, I usually use the trick I once read in a magazine about window cleaning and prepare a mix of water, soft neutral ph soap and alcohol. In theory the soap will clean and remove the stains or fingerprints whereas the alcohol will help with the drying, making it faster…
After washing a vase one may find its mouth is too narrow to dry it with a rag. In cases like these I use two methods. A little piece of cotton tissue around a chopstick or kitchen paper (not the textured sort with chcken printed on it, but that that’s softer and more resistant, just like the one used at petrol stations). I usually crumpled it up into a sort of string and put it inside the vase -one end always out!!!- move it around for it to catch as much water as possible, and leave it there for a day or so. The celulose will absorve most of the water and this way I avoid leaving water stains.
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But sometimes we need to clean glass we’ve just bought. In this cases we can find either water calcium stains or just plain dirt.
An art restorer once told me that glass is a much more porous material than we think, and that even if glass can keep acids and abrasives, we should be more careful with the stuff we clean our glass with. I should always follow her advide, but when I get a vase that’s thoroughly dirty, I take a look at the cupboard under the kitchen sink in search of the strongest stuff to clean it.
I will talk about this soon.